Smokers in Nashville have a new place to go if they’re trying to quit in 2020: a city library. A new smoking cession program is part of a larger push into health-related services.
Facilitators completed online training with the American Cancer Society and will lead the smoking cessation classes. Jada Pitts at the North Branch says she’ll help patrons develop a plan to wean off cigarettes for good.
She hopes smokers might feel more comfortable at the library than a more clinical setting.
“Nobody knows what you’re in here for. Some people are in here to use computers. Some people are in here to read,” she says. “We just want to have a space where they can let go and be themselves and learn about quitting this habit and focusing on something else.”
In recent years, Nashville libraries have also started offering yoga and healthy cooking classes as part of the Be Well at NPL initiative.
Nationally, as books and information have become more readily available, public libraries have seen their roles transforming into community gathering places.
Six Nashville branches will have a weekly session for smokers trying to kick their habit. (You can look up the times and places here.) Organizers ask participants to RSVP and commit to the full four weeks.
Nashville’s smoking rate has fallen to 13%, according to the most recent surveys. But the region has had a higher rate of smoking than other parts of the country in recent years.